Five years ago, the biggest NBA trade that didn’t happen occurred. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were looking to get younger and faster in the backcourt, and were willing to give up virtually anything to pair Bryant with CP3. Los Angeles was to receive Paul, The Rockets would have received Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, and a 1st round pick, and New Orleans would have Pau Gasol.
Looking back, the Lakers would have shifted the power of the league if this deal would have stayed. The NBA technically owned the franchise, as in 2010 they had purchased the team from prior owner George Shinn. The Rockets would have been loaded, and would likely have not signed James Harden or Dwight Howard years later. The New Orleans Hornets would have a dependable post player that would have been the face of their franchise.
Of course, not even a week later, the Clippers were able to secure a deal with New Orleans to get CP3. Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Faroq Aminu and a future pick were shipped South. Since that deal, LA basketball has changed roles. The Clippers are now the hot ticket, and the Lakers are forgettable.
Doc Rivers was still in Boston, and Donald Sterling was still the Clippers owner. A lot has changed since 2011, but it’s fun to reminisce about the what if’s.
Chris Paul announced to Clippers fans
Perhaps the most awkward moment of the video above happens in the first minute, when Neil Olshey, VP of Basketball Operations for LA, mentions then-owner Donald Sterling. Check out 0:23 for the moment.